11.223 Heritage Lottery Fund IT Survey

Humanist Discussion Group (humanist@kcl.ac.uk)
Fri, 8 Aug 1997 22:30:51 +0100 (BST)

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 11, No. 224.
Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London

Date: Fri, 8 Aug 1997 16:47:10 GMT
From: Jean G Anderson <jganders@arts.gla.ac.uk>
Subject: Heritage Lottery Fund IT Survey

Heritage Lottery Fund Information Technology Study

The Heritage Lottery Fund has commissioned a study on information
technology in the heritage sector which will take place over the
next six months. I have appended a brief for the project. The
consultants who have been commissioned to carry out the work are
the Humanities Advanced Technology and Information Institute at
the University of Glasgow, led by Dr Seamus Ross.

The National Heritage Act 1997 is likely to enable the
Heritage Lottery Fund to consider a wide range of new types of
projects which have hitherto been ineligible for Lottery funding.
There are therefore many new opportunities for using IT in
heritage projects.

I would be most interested in receiving any information you might
have relating to your own work in this area - for example, any
studies or reviews you have undertaken, any IT projects in which
you have been involved, or any guidelines you have developed on
IT projects.

I would also welcome any comments you might have on how the HLF
might approach the area of information technology. We would
appreciate any comments, however brief.

Jean Anderson
Principal Researcher
University of Glasgow

Heritage Lottery Fund and Information Technology Projects
Brief for research study

Purpose of study

1.To assist in developing a policy framework and funding
guidelines to support the Heritage Lottery Fund's wider powers
under new legislation to fund projects involving:

* compilation and dissemination of information about the heritage

* encourage study, understanding and enjoyment of the heritage

These new purposes, taken with HLF's established role in funding
conservation of the heritage, imply that information technology
will play will play a much greater part in future HLF grant
activity. HLF wishes to identify the most effective
contributions it can make in this field.

2.The new legislation widens the range of HLF's potential
projects and applicants. There will be no new lottery funding to
meet these demands, and capital projects involving the direct
conservation of the heritage will remain a priority. Resources
for information technology projects will be finite, and an
important objective of the study will be to identify and
recommend priorities in the short and medium term.

3.These priorities should take account of government policy on,
and parallel developments in the use of information technology,
for example in the fields of current information and education,
to identify opportunities for HLF to complement other initiatives
and avoid duplication.

Specific objectives

4.To review (by means of a literature survey and targeted
interviews) the established and developing uses of IT in the
sectors covered by the HLF:

i Built heritage
a) Survey and Record
b) Archaeology

ii Countryside and Nature Conservation
a) Survey and Record
b) Biological & Natural Records

iii Objects (including preserved ships etc.) and Collections
(museums, archives, special library collections)

5. To examine the possible future applications and issues raised
for the above by:

i Databases, including image databases

ii Interactive on-site and on-line systems

iii Websites

6. To identify requirements for standards (principals for
selection rather than particular standards), kinds of
applications to be supported (eg database development,
interactive systems, software development, hardware) and the
issues raised by copyright and intellectual property rights.

7. To examine the issues related to the inclusion of information
technology training and skills-development with bids to the
Heritage Lottery Fund.

8. To examine dissemination issues and problems associated with
improving access and making certain that technology-based
projects succeed in reaching a wider user-base and not just the
traditionally IT literate communities.

9. To identify policy options, and recommend priorities across
the range of areas, in the short (eg first two years) and medium

10. To draw up recommended criteria, and guidelines for the
material to be submitted by applicants, which are:

* comprehensible to non-IT specialists among applicants, HLF
staff and trustees

* sufficiently robust about priorities to facilitate efficient
and economic assessments by HLF

11. To define assessment tests for IT projects, including
assessment of commercial viability, and appraisal of economic,
cultural and social "market" for projects.

12. To review HLF options and resource implications for
inviting/assessing applications for IT projects, including
viability of establishing a special programme for IT in the
heritage sector.

Jean Anderson
Humanities Advanced Technology & Information Institute
University of Glasgow,
6 University Gardens, Glasgow G12 8QQ, UK
email: j.anderson@arts.gla.ac.uk
phone: +44 (0)141 330 4980
mailer: Pegasus

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